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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 17th, 2005
    &^*%$@ Please excuse my language but I get very irritated about how some affilate merchants handle reversals. I think some are using them to spoof thier affiliates.

    I'm seeing higher reversals than ever, and mostly from "second tier" merchants. I don't see as much with "top tier" merchants.

    What's your experience and thoughts?

    It's forcing me to start "test driving" affiliate programs for longer than I used to, and I will probably quit trying out upstart affiliate programs because of chargeback spoofing.

    By either accidentally or intentionally "forgetting" to apply chargebacks in a timely fashion, affiliates can be duped into believing the affiliate program has good conversions, wherupon they run over to Overture or to Classifieds or the search engines and invest either money or time to pull more traffic for that "great" affiliate program. Then weeks or even months later the chargebacks start rearing their ugly head, after the affiliate has made their investment.

    Dirtball merchants may do this intentionally (like "hey guys, wanna see a bunch of suckers spend money on us?") Newbie merchants may do it because they haven't got their reporting systems functioning properly before they go online with their program (like "hey guys, don't worry about chargebacks, just get the program online, then we'll figure out how to do chargebacks").

    I plead with CJ (hopefully they read this thread) to show chargebacks on the day they occur rather than on the back date of the original order. That's because I look at my daily stats to see how I'm doing, and only occasionly go back a month or two to review chargebacks that were quietly slipped in. Of coarse the chargeback should include a reference to the original order.

    I plead with all affiliate networks and all merchants to make special efforts to get this chargeback business under control. I can work very effectively with real-time stats but stats that are distorted with sales that are going to be reversed are a big spoof.

    I think the networks should make chargebacks stand out clearly on their daily reports so they don't foster chargeback spoofing. And I think they should have a maximum chargeback rate and time limit based on the industry and post that information for affiliates.

    I think merchants should do a better job of keeping the chargebacks out of the program in the first place. They should never report a sale until it has passed a credit charge check and a fraud check. They should never report a sale if they must screen for validity of the order (like ex-US order where only domestic orders are handled, or like pay-per-lead where the applications must be screened for legitimacy). They probably shouldn't report product sales until the product ships out the door, especially in companies or industries where inventory outages are too frequent, causing customers to cancel their orders. I think the only legitimate chargebacks should be when a customer returns an order they received, and that should be done within 30 days or the merchant should forget about an affiliate chargeback (one exception would be where fraud is demonstrated).

    Anyway, IMHO, this @$!@#$% affiliate chargeback business is getting out of control and I think it's time for the industry to clean up their act.

    One CJ affiliate, for instance, is running 56% chargebacks on a pay-per-lead program. Now that's out of control!

    Any merchants reading this tread be advised we affiliates are waking up to chargeback spoofing. Any networks reading this thread be advised if you want to maintain your credibilty, make the merchants handle chargebacks responsibly, and report them better.

    [ 04-13-2002: Message edited by: Whiznot ]

    [ 04-13-2002: Message edited by: Whiznot ]

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    What percentage of chargebacks are you seeing for your total account?

    I've been looking at percentage of chargebacks (CJ only) both by number of sales and total dollars and the chargebacks seem in line (or lower than) standard retail chargebacks.

  3. #3
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>One CJ affiliate, for instance, is running 56% chargebacks on a pay-per-lead program. Now that's out of control!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I tried promoting this one once and had leads reversed. When I complained, they advised that they automatically reverse all leads from affiliates they don't know (new affiliates in their program without track records). They then reimbursed my a/c with double the payout from the reversed leads. Whilst I was happy that I was reimbursed plus some, I thought that their reverse first and wait for a complaint attitude was disgusting.. This is straight out fraud in my book, as without a complaint I would have simply been right royally ripped off.


  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 17th, 2005
    Cedric, % chargebacks for my total accounts are very small. That's because I have a lot of good merchants. The chargebacks are concentrated on a small group of lower tier mechants.

    I'm just very irritated at that small group because I invest time and money in all the merchants I try out. The chargeback spoofers often take a while to figure out, especially the new programs where the CJ stats aren't showing chargebacks yet, or the merchants on the other major networks that don't provide a summary report merchant on chargebacks (kudos to CJ for their summary reports on mechants).

    Then there are mechants that have a growing % chargebacks, which can leave me to assume they've been spoofing to get affiliates to invest in them.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 17th, 2005
    Can you explain what exactly you mean by "spoofing"? I don't quite get what you're talking about with that.

    I think weeding out the bad merchants is just part of the Cost of Doing Business... and I'm really not crazy about suggestions that would slow down the reporting of sales (only after product ships, only when cc are verified). I'd MUCH rather wait a month to see 2% reversals than wait a month to see 98% solid sales.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005

    You make a real good point about WASTING YOUR TIME.

    I have been doing business long enough to know that some stuff works and some dosen't.
    That in this venue there will be chargebacks and all.

    But what really pisses me off is that merchants think that wasting my time is OKAY.

    Well it's not. They almost all think that all we do is cut and paste a banner or text link into our sites and we are done and that our traffic materializes out of thin air.

    And this problem is endemic. I can send 20,000 plus people to any merchant I choose in any month I desire.

    I really don't care how much they make off it. What I care about is how much I make and whether that amount is greater than what it costs me to send them that traffic.

    I have affiliate relations with over 400 business and most get exactly what they deserve ZERO because their programs are set up to waste my time. The may or may not get a link put somewhere.

    Why do I join these programs to test them out. If they don't perform at the rate of 1 sale in 1,000 click thrus they simply get stuck in the 'maybe we'll try you again in this lifetime file if I have the time."

    Since CPA has taken over affiliate marketing,
    revenues for 90% of anyone in affiliate marketing have gone down. 10% have seen revenues skyrocket.

    What is pretty interesting is that spending the same amount of time that it takes to do a pre-sell page to do an eBay auction page is 10 to 20 times more profitable in general.

    Another alternative method of making money is to sell your own products. For example: We sell a simple kitchen oriented product for $15 which includes priority shipping. It costs $5 per unit if we buy them by the dozen. We sell 1 or 2 every day, sometimes more using PayPal for payment.

    How hard is it to stick a USPS priority label and priority stamp on the box and give it to the mailperson or drop it off at the post-office.

    $2,400 per year for about one hours worth of work per the hell out of trying to optimize a zillion sites to get a good spot in google.

  7. #7
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>weeding out the bad merchants is just part of the Cost of Doing Business...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It's very a painful process, but worth the time. However, I wish I had 72 hours in a day.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I'd MUCH rather wait a month to see 2% reversals than wait a month to see 98% solid sales.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Cedric, I hear you. That's why I try to stay within CJ unless I really can't find a decent merchant for a particular product line.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But what really pisses me off is that merchants think that wasting my time is OKAY.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Right, plus I really hate those merchants who don't care to learn how to properly run an affiliate program.

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I'd MUCH rather wait a month to see 2% reversals than wait a month to see 98% solid sales.~Cedric<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Me too! Plus I don't like the idea of there being ANY delays in reporting. Every minute of delay is another minute merchants have to cook the books!! I'd much rather have it so that if the tracking is working, sales are showing up--and if it's not, it becomes obvious real fast if the merchant was previously performing well...


    Fred, one of the problems with your "sell your own stuff" scenario is what happens when you decide to take a trip--but all your goods are sitting back at Wherever, USA...along with your new orders.

    I much prefer to have that $$$ just appear in the bank wherever I am, and never have to worry about delivering anything!!!

    Plus, why work an hour a week, when you can work 1/2 a year and get the same thing for it?!? That's 52 hours of labor a year with your method.

    To use your style of presentation, Fred:

    IF you put up two pages a week, at 1/2 hour's work per page, and each page makes only $10 a day, you could have 104 pages up by the end of the year.

    IF each page was making $10/day, by the end of the year that would be $1040/DAY, (104 pages times $10 apiece) for the same 52 hours worth of work that is currently making you $2400/YEAR!

    Even if you don't make $1040/day with 104 pages it should be fairly easy to beat $2400/year with 52 hours worth of work...

    (Note: Before anyone says I make $1040/day, remember that this part is just an example of what could be done!)

    [ 04-14-2002: Message edited by: Leader ]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005

    What's a trip? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    52 hours a week for $2,400 is $46/hr. Not great but not bad either.

    Actually, IF you could make $5 PROFIT per day per page, you'd be nuts not to just do the affiliate CPA trip.

    And I do try to make a page a week to use for CPA. I usually take about 2 hours to do one page and submit it to the search engines and post a classsified ad for it on Adlandpro or websitings.

    But my "own stuff" deals are few, except for eBay auctions. I have the option of drop shipping the stuff but most of the time it's more profitable to have it shipped to me and I ship it out.

    One of the reasons, I focus on the kitchen utensils is that they are lightweight and don't cost a lot to ship.

    Aside from Build Referrals & It Pays To Learn which combined bring in close to $2k every month,

    What makes the most money for the least effort is building billboard ad pages for businesses.

    And what is seemingly a most overlooked sales generator is placing classified ads in offline publications like pennysavers.

    I have been testing some ads for the eBay how to eB
    ooks available thru clickbank and it's been real profitable SO FAR.

    Business Owners: Learn How To Sell Your Products Worldwide Thru eBay. Free Details.
    (link to the ebook on clickbank)

    You can place similar type ads in lots of places for less than $5 to $10.

    The one I'm testing right now is for ink.

    Business Owners: Learn How To Save 50% And Up On Your Ink Jet And Laser Toner. Free Details.
    (my ink page link)

    It's worth a shot - put a similar type ad in your local paper and see what happens.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 17th, 2005
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>And what is seemingly a most overlooked sales generator is placing classified ads in offline publications like pennysavers.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Right on the money with is very often overlooked, and I use this method frequently...also, if you can play your cards right, you can work out trades with publications. With one of our local business directories, we've done this with both the local newspaper and a couple of radio stations. Our name is all over the place, but it doesn't cost me in advertising to make that happen.

    Tom Pyles

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